NEW YORK, OCTOBER 23- “Sport is universally recognized as a formidable vehicle for education, health and inclusion…But sport is also a thriving business, and as such it is exposed to the risk of corruption and other crimes,” the Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations in New York, Stefano Stefanile, said during an event on sport and corruption organized by Italy, Russia, Qatar, Colombia and the UNODC. “To better counter corruption risks in sport, also in the UNCAC and UNTOC frameworks, it is time to move, as today’s event emphasizes, from issue advocacy to concrete action…in order to give full implementation to and go even beyond Resolution 7/8”.
In the words of Stefanile, sport “has the power to bring people together, to break language and cultural barriers, to spread the values of friendship, solidarity and fair competition. It is also a driver for social and economic growth”. However, sport currently caries with it crimes such as “illegal betting, match fixing, doping, frauds and deviance in the adjudication of major sport events and related procurement or concessions such as TV broadcasting rights”. Given the profound repercussions of such corruption phenomena, they are to be fought with determination and through a strengthened international collaboration, remarked the Ambassador.
Stefanile furthermore recalled Italy’s efforts in regards to the Resolution against crime, adopted each year by the General Assembly of the UN. Throughout the event, the importance of a cooperative approach -in line with the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime- was emphasized. All relevant actors are to be involved: governments, enforcement authorities, Olympic Commitees, sport associations and the private sector. (SB@OnuItalia)